I Take You by Eliza Kennedy | Rating: ★★☆☆☆
As a note, a printed galley of this novel was sent to me via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
For months I’d been anticipating the release of Eliza Kennedy’s debut novel; the blurb I’d read sounded like it had all the makings of an entertaining spring and summer, kick back and relax read. And the cover art: boy, is that cover a beauty. I couldn’t stop starring at it. I still can’t; in spite of the flaws of the book the cover art is still lovely.
I squealed a lot when I saw my request had been filled. There may have been a bit of obnoxious, neighbor's stare inducing, happy dance. I honestly couldn’t wait to dig in. It promised to be delicious and offensive in that good, fun sort of way. And while it did strike a lot of chords humor wise, it was generally a letdown. I can’t figure out where everything went wrong – Eliza’s writing is easy, descriptive, stylish and witty.
But the story was so… sigh.
And the characters are even worse.
I truly thought that when requesting this book I’d be in for a treat, chick-lit that could take me away. But this is the second time this year that I’ve felt duped by the premise of a book. I felt truly let down. There was so much to the story that could have been handled differently; characters that could have been developed further.
Unfortunately, I Take You was lackluster and often unlikable.
It was missing something crucial to the plot. We already knew it would be a tricky task to make a character whom cheats on her significant other likable. It has, after all, been done before. But somehow in I Take You’s case, our leading lady is insufferable in a way that makes it impossible to focus on the way the story unfolds.
I just couldn’t get into it, and here’s why: Lily’s indecisiveness doesn’t make her relatable. Or rather, the way she handles it doesn’t. I’m all here for women who are open with their sexuality and embrace their desires but the problem is that Lily is getting married. If she wanted to embrace a wild side to herself, or explore her perfectly natural feelings, the wedding should have been called off long ago.
Because frankly, her doubts were past the point of return. Lily could have saved herself a lot of trouble by just embracing this side, dumping her fiance and doing exactly what she wanted to do. I spent a great deal of time being frustrated with Lily's decision making.
This was her biggest mistake: by doing this, she sealed her own frustration.
It’s perfectly natural to have doubts, but it just felt so awkward to see how she handled everything. Which makes the potential of it all so eye roll worthy. I couldn’t connect with her on a lot of levels and while some parts of the novel were outrageously funny and engaging, the rest fell short.
To make matters worse, the story is cheapened by an explanation of why she acts the way she does and a ridiculous plot twist that her fiance is also a cheater. So it takes away being sympathetic of him and just makes me side eye the BOTH of them. I mean, really? Why is this even a thing? And then there's her reaction. I mean… I can’t find the words to explain how much I rolled my eyes throughout the book.
I can’t believe I managed to finish it.
I can’t even believe I’m giving it a two star rating. I believe the only reason I am doing so is because of the occasional glimpses of humor and the darling little cover image.
I refuse to believe that Eliza Kennedy’s debut novel is all she has up her sleeve. Her writing shows promise and I have high hopes that her next release, if she does release another, will be worth the read.
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend I Take You to a lot of people. However, if you don’t mind cheaters and soap opera dramatics; this may be the right book for you.